In the previous post I showed how I used existing designs to mount 3rd party filament inside my XYZPrinting Da Vinci 1.0A printer. Now we just have to deal with the printers ability to track the filament in use. Inside each cartridge is a chip that tells the printer what filament is in the cartridge, what temprature to print it at and how much is left. As you print the printer updates this chip to reduce the value of how much is left.

DaVinci CartChip

Read more: Da Vinci 1.0A - 3rd Party Filament - Cartridge chip reset

So what's involved in supporting 3rd party filament on a printer that takes proprietary cartridges? Well as you can imagine I'm not the first to do this and there is solutions out there already. The problem is two fold......the first is how to get the filament to the extruder. The second is how to fool the printer into thinking it's using it's own filament. The physical side of using 3rd party filament itself has several options, firstly you can mount an spool holder on the back and feed the filament though a gap in the case, this design from DaakTwo demonstrates it well. You can see the filament enters the printer through the gap in the back of the case. This is were the standard cartridges are located so the filament uses the same guide path to the extruder.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:722110

DaVinci rear spool

Read more: Da Vinci 1.0A - 3rd Party Filament - Spool & Guilds

I have always suffered from poor print quality with both Z-banding (bumpy side walls) and oval holes on my prints and thought that it was (at least in part) due to the badly printed x-axis idler that was delivered with my printer. I finally received replacement parts in metal.

http://www.geeetech.com/upgraded-metal-kit-for-geeetech-prusa-i3-pro-series-3d-printer-p-970.html

Original X axis x axis metal

Read more: More printer updates

In my last update I said I got a new Da Vinci 1.0A and right out of the box it was awesome......well this has not changed but, as is my nature, I have started to tinker with it.

DaVinci

Read more: Welcome the Da Vinci 1.0A

So the time has come to put auto bed leveling on my printer. While this is not really a requirement I do like the option of the system checking the bed before a print and mathematically adjusting for any miss alignment during the print and not just wrecking layer one if the bed is not 100% level.

There are many ways to do level checking on a bed but the simplest and the one I have parts for is the servo based one. ZennmasterM did a great overview of this process for the Makerfarm and was the inspiration for my own project.

Read more: Adding Auto-Bed Leveling